A rare Dingyao tripod waterpot with an inscribed 'guan' mark Tang - Five Dynasties | 唐至五代 定窰白釉蓮瓣紋三足水盂 《官》款
Property from the Houlezhai Collection
A rare Dingyao tripod waterpot with an inscribed 'guan' mark
Tang - Five Dynasties
There is expected surface wear, especially to the rim, and typical minute flakes to the tips of the feet. There is an approx. 1 cm lightly polished area to the shoulder possibly to conceal a firing imperfection. The waterpot is otherwise preserved in very good overall condition.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Collection of Dr Carl Kempe (1884-1967).
Sotheby's London, 14th May 2008, lot 226.
Gustaf Lindberg, 'Hsing-Yao and Ting-Yao', The Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, no. 25, Stockholm, 1953, pl. 16, fig. 13.
Bo Gyllensvärd, Chinese Ceramics in the Carl Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1964, pl. 389.
Oriental Ceramics. The World's Great Collections: Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, vol. 8, Tokyo, 1982, pl. 93.
Chinese Ceramic Treasures. A Selection from the Ulricehamn East Asian Museum, Including the Carl Kempe Collection, Ulricehamn, 2002, pl. 591.
Gustaf Lindberg，〈Hsing-Yao and Ting-Yao〉，《 The Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities》，第25期，斯德哥爾摩，1953年，圖版16，圖13
Bo Gyllensvärd，《Chinese Ceramics in the Carl Kempe Collection》，斯德哥爾摩，1964年，圖版389
International Exhibition of Chinese Art, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1935-6, cat. no. 982.
Exhibition of Chinese Art, Palazzo Ducale, Venice, 1954, cat. no. 358.
The Arts of the T'ang Dynasty, The Oriental Ceramic Society, London, 1955, cat. no. 171.
Chinese Gold, Silver and Porcelain. The Kempe Collection, Asia House Gallery, New York, 1971, cat. no. 96, a touring exhibition also shown at nine other museums in the United States.
《中國藝術國際展覽會》， 英國皇家藝術學院， 倫敦， 1935-6年，編號982
《Exhibition of Chinese Art》，總督宮，威尼斯，1954年，編號358
《The Arts of the T'ang Dynasty》，東方陶瓷協會，倫敦，1955年，編號171
《Chinese Gold, Silver and Porcelain. The Kempe Collection》，亞洲協會，紐約，1971年，編號96（美國巡迴展，於亞洲協會及其他九家博物館展出）
Delicately potted with subtle lobes resembling a lotus bud and enveloped in a warm ivory-white glaze, the present vessel epitomises the aesthetic ideal at the dawn of white-ware production. The feet, each modelled in the form of an animal’s paw, add to the charm of the vessel.
Although both Xing and Ding kilns in Hebei appear to have produced jarlets of similar shape, the creamy-white tone of the glaze and delicate lotus design of this vessel indicate a likely attribution to the latter site. A Dingyao waterpot of comparable form, with a more bluish glaze stop short above the feet but otherwise undecorated, was excavated at Dingzhou city, Hebei, and included in Zhongguo gu ciyao daxi. Zhongguo Dingyao / Series of China’s Ancient Porcelain Kiln Sites: Ding Kiln of China, Beijing, 2012, p. 274, fig. 11 bottom. Compare a related example attributed to the Xing kilns, also more bluish and plain, excavated in Xi’an, Shaanxi province and published in Zhongguo gu ciyao daxi. Zhongguo Xingyao / Series of China’s Ancient Porcelain Kiln Sites. Xing Kiln of China, Beijing, 2012, p. 375 top.
This waterpot is freely incised to its base with a guan (official) character – an indication of exceptional quality suitable for imperial use. Although white-glazed wares inscribed with such marks can be found from the Tang dynasty through the Song period, they are altogether scarce. Except for a very small number of examples from the Xing kilns, the majority of these marked wares were produced at Dingzhou (Lü Chenglong, ed., Dingyaoyaji gugongbowuyuan zhencang ji chutu dingyao ciqi huicui / Selection of Ding Ware. The Palace Museum’s Collection and Archaeological Excavation, Beijing, 2012, pp. 13 and 18). From the mid-Tang dynasty through the Five Dynasties period, while kilns supplying ceramics to the court were neither strictly controlled nor solely restricted to imperial commissions, court officials were sent to supervise production and taxation at the Ding kilns (The Decorated Porcelains of Dingzhou: White Ding Wares from the Collection of the National Palace Museum Special Exhibition, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2014, p. 19). See a Five dynasties Dingyao covered jarlet with similar petal lobes and inscribed with a guan character, but resting on a short footring, in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, published in Ceramics Gallery of the Palace Museum, vol. 1: The Neolithic Period to Five Dynasties, Beijing, 2021, cat. no. 186, together with a Tang dynasty unmarked waterpot supported on four animal-feet, cat. no. 142.